What exactly has gone wrong? Perhaps it was an obsession with Iraq. After the Western Powers provided the Northern Alliance with the necessary power to topple the Taliban (driving out Osama binladin and the Al-Qaeda Group), the Americans turned their obsession to Iraq. Instead of actually chasing Osama Bin Ladin in a part of the world where he actually happened to be, the neoCONS decided their manhoods could be better shown in fabricating evidence to mislead a nation into war - so Afganistan becaome something of a side show, one where the formerly loathed Taliban could make a come back.
While this certainly a statement of the obvious, the reasons for the resurgance of the drug trade are more deep seated. The neoCONS were awful and Un-American but you can't pin the resurgance of the drug trade in Afgahnistan entirely on them. - I believe that human nature is responsible - simply put - we've been at "War" on the illegal drugs trade for over 30-years and yet no country can claim to be truely successful at eradicating the trade. Even in super strict and well-policed Singapore (We hang for grass), we have drug addicts and if we have drug addicts, we clearly have drug pushers.
Almost every nation and every legal code on the globe throws the book at using and dealing in illegal drugs. Policemen make their names by chasing down drug dealers and governments that are normally sensetive about the soverignty happily allow American gun ships to destroy their farm land - all in the name of eradicating the drug trade. Politicians become more electable when they declare how tough of the drug trade they will become - offering to build prisons works at the ballot box. Yet, if you look at the statistics on drug use (usually inaccurate because not every drug user admits to using or gets caught), the figures certainly have not gone down.
Surely, there has to be a political leader, somewhere around here with the guts to realise that this war on drugs has not helped anyone, except the drug dealers and law enforcement agencies when they come to fight for their portion of tax payers money. What can be done here?
Personally, I think the only solution is to aknowledge that people who are using illegal drugs will use them and find ways to use them regardless of the laws we place around them. Surely, in this situation it's best to bring drug use out into the open, where rules against the harmful side effects can be enforced in a realistic manner. Look at alcohol - we know people will drink so we let them - we don't care what they drink as long as they don't become rowdies who make life miserable for the public and kill people when they drive. More importantly, alcohol and tobacoo are good money spinners for governments around the world. So, what is it about drugs like cocaine that make it necessary for us to make them illegal. - You can't claim that it's because its addictive and bad for you - so are cigaretts, alcohol and dare I say it - gambling.
We've tried nearly everything against the drug trade and yet it continues to flourish. So, why don't we just make it all legal and turn it into just another industry rather like alcohol and tobacoo?
I suspect it's because illegal businesses are too lucrative for everyone involved. If it's illegal, it's usually more expensive and more profits get into the pockets of the "Right" people. I guess its important for the economy of Southern Florida to have Cuban and Columbian drug dealers buy holiday homes. Nice South American and Asian groups do nice things for the economy in the West - I mean who else needs all those small arms lying around the place? Where would law enforcement agencies be if we started cutting the funds for enforcing anti-drug laws? - Out of a job and unable to do anything in the market economy.
Afgahnistan was a wonderful place, particularly during the Soviet Occupation. The Freedom Loving Mujahideen (friends of Osama) needed weapons and so they sold opium. They then paid cash for stinger missiles provided by the CIA - nobody realised that they'd turn them on the US of A but then again, in those days, who cared - Osama was our dude.
When the solution is obvious - you got to ask why nobody is taking it on. Then you follow the trail of money and before you know it, you'll realise that our so called moral leaders are no better than the thugs they claim they are fighting against.